A view from the left of Funes' victory

A video essay about Mauricio Funes' victory in El Salvador is worth watching as a discussion starter. The video states that the victory of Funes and the left should be "understood as the culmination of decades of struggle against neoliberal economics and government repression." The essay starts with the inspiration of Oscar Romero and continues to portray a fairly binary view of the good forces of the left struggling against the dark forces of ARENA on the right. Ultimately it is too simplistic, and loses credibility in places, such as when the narrator seems to imply that the murder of the son of Mauricio Funes in Paris was part of political violence in El Salvador.


Anonymous said…
The sweet taste of victory is responsibility. I'm all for change, and ARENA after 20 some years definitely was due a break. Besides, it's a lot more fun being the opposition. Democracy, don't you just love it! "Ballots, not Bullets."
Anonymous said…
The one that most concerns me is "Machete"
Anonymous said…
Seems Salvador's new president elect and ex radio jock, Mauricio Funes, is off to a running start. He hasn't taken office yet and already he's dumped his middle class abode for a luxury mansion overlooking the city lights, and now we hear he's off to swanky Paris on "personal matters." Undoubtedly while there he will skip over to Banque Cantonale Neuchateloiseto, in next door Switzerland, and open a few numbered bank accounts for himself and his soon to be rich leftist comrades. As the old saying goes, "The more that things seem to change, the more they remain the same."
Anonymous said…
the reporter looks like napoleon dynamite.
Anonymous said…
Holy jeez you're right! Looks like he's related to Orville 'Clarence' Redenbacher too.
Anonymous said…
President Antonio Saca deserves to be repudiated by all decent freedom loving Salvadorans for the shameful electoral victory of the bottom feeding leftist thugs. Saca will be remembered for his mismanagement, and his use of office for self aggrandizement. And now when all is said and done, Tony Saca rides off into the sunset while leaving El Salvador on the very brink of social and economic collapse. Que viva la pepa.
Anonymous said…
" and loses credibility in places, such as when the narrator seems to imply that the murder of the son of Mauricio Funes in Paris was part of political violence in El Salvador.

-Tim, why would the mentioning of his son being murdered make it lose credibility? the right threatened Mauricio numerous times before and after he announced his candidacy.
Anonymous said…
and to the Anon that believes all the yellow journalism that EDH and LPG offer about his "luxury mansion".
He had lived behind the U.S. Embajada in santa TEcla and it was a strategic sitting duck of a place to be assassinated.
Anonymous said…
Yes, I hear you, but I think you're wrong on that one. Funes should be really worrying and concerned with about the people he has surrounded himself with. History has shown us that these thugs are very experimented, both in theory and in practice. I think it's stupid to be thinking of any rightist plot against Funes, after all, it's clear to all that Funes is perhaps one of the most respected leaders in Central America at this time. The problem isn't Funes, the problem are the people he has placed on third base. That's where the danger to Funes and to us lies.
Anonymous said…
I agree with you wholeheartedly! We all know that Adolph Hitler took over and became "Der Fuhrer" when Hindenburg passed away. In El Salvador the radicals of the extremist left are circling the political skies, patiently waiting and watching, like "zopilotes."
Anonymous said…
The above comment is an asinine historical comparison, only fit for Rush Limbaugh and similar clowns and laughing-stocks.

If Salvador Sanchez Ceren is like Hitler than so was Dick Cheney.
Anonymous said…
I certainly agree with the above commentary, that Sanchez Ceren alias "smiling machete" is definitely at least as threatening (politically speaking) as Dick Cheney ever was, although Cheney in no way compares to the violent background of "machete". Cheney is undoubtedly sympathetic to human rights abuse and torture, and that's why we got rid of him. Now as for Limbaugh, he's just a loud-mouthed pill farmer and an opportunist radio talk show host and entertainer, nothing more.

Continuing with the above: If the author also refutes the historical fact that Hitler grabbed power in Germany when Von Hindenburg passed away, then he clearly doesn't know his history and he has no real credibility. Someone so lacking in basic knowledge simply falls into the category of "useless fool."

The FMLN extremist radicals who cleverly used Mauricio Funes to gain political power in El Salvador, also realize that only Funes now stands in the way of their long-held dream of wearing Castro style fatigues, a la Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. The core elements of the FMLN geriatric leadership must also surely recognize that Funes could very well be their last viable opportunity, and like "zopes" circling the blue Salvadoran skies they are just watching and waiting.

Funes used the the FMLN organization, but the flip side of that coin is that the FMLN also used him. And now, when all is said and done, perhaps Funes will realize the danger he has placed placed himself in. I personally support Mauricio Funes and have high hopes for his leadership. Hopefully he will not defraud either me, nor the Salvadoran populous.
Anonymous said…
To the posting above that read in part, "He had lived behind the U.S. Embajada in santa TEcla and it was a strategic sitting duck of a place to be assassinated."
First of all, it's rather obvious that you need to expand your choice of words and your vocabulary. You can start by learning the meaning of "Strategic, and Tactical." Another thing, your political and survival instincts really stink, no one who is going to take the kind of action you refer to would be so stupid and to project their intentions. Comprende camarada.
Anonymous said…
Above Posting edit...
From: "no one who is going to take the kind of action you refer to would be so stupid and to project their intentions."
Should read: "no one who is going to take the kind of action you refer to would be so stupid AS to project their intentions."

Sorry Jackie.
Anonymous said…
Responding to the Post, "-Tim, why would the mentioning of his son being murdered make it lose credibility? the right threatened Mauricio numerous times before and after he announced his candidacy."

Listen pal, get real. In a country as lawless and violent as El Salvador, that is right up there with the top murder capitals of the world, if someone wants to take you out and do you in, believe me that the will. No problemo. Comprede. All this talk about so-called rightist threats, is obviously BS, complete and unadulterated BS. One the one hand the lefties talk about right wing death squads running around shooting everyone in sight, and on the other hand they talk of threats and Funes. Think, if there were right wing death squad running wild, would they publish in newspapers who there next target will be. Com'on.
Anonymous said…
Anyone who actually knew Oscar Arnulfo Romero and his personal trajectory, also knows and is saddened by the fact that during his life he was seen as "un pobre loquito" and was used by the radical left by taking advantage of his outspoken love for the common man. It actually took his infamous martyrdom for him to be ascended from a useful fool, to a glorified symbol as "hero of the masses." To some, Oscar Arnulfo Romero has become a Saint. By personally witnessing the life of the beloved Padre Romero, I have become more and more convinced that people are vicious!
Tim said…
My point about the murder of Funes' son in Paris is that all the accounts suggest that it was random street crime where Funes' son apparently acted bravely to try and protect his companions. The video suggests that the murder is somehow tied to political violence in El Salvador -- it isn't.

I also have doubts, which I have raised at various times over the years, that every murder that left wing activists call a "political murder." In a country as violent as El Salvador, the fact that you are an FMLN partisan and were murdered does not necessarily mean that your murder was politically motivated.
Anonymous said…
Tim, I absolutely agree with your comments. Although there are those who adamantly attempt to twist, turn and edit reality to re-enforce their beliefs, reality is obstinate and steadfastly remains reality.
Not being able to convince anyone, not even yourself, must be the very essence of frustration!
Anonymous said…
Salvador's Mauricio Funes has had an interesting career change, and it's still up-in-the-air to see how it goes for him. Funes passes from professional T.V. political critic, to now becoming that which he dedicated his career to criticizing. After the honeymoon and fiesta is pasted and reality sets in, Funes will wake-up and realize that it was a lot easier and more fun being a critic than having to deal with popular expectations and with the responsibilities of state. Meanwhile the zopes will be circling above, patiently watching and waiting. Good luck, Mauricio.
Anonymous said…
Dick Cheney's less violent background than Salvador Sanchez Ceren? Sanchez Ceren's penny ante stuff pales in comparison to Cheney-sponsered violation of the United Nations Charter in co-authorizing an aggressive war in the invasion of Iraq, as well command responsibility in violating national and international anti-torture law in connection with incidents at Abu Graib prison.

Cheney has upward of half-a-million Iraqi deaths through 2006 (excess mortality) to account for, according to Johns Hopkins UNiversity epidemiologists who studied the conflict.

Sanchez Ceren, on the other hand, held a leadership positon in a politically representative force (FMLN) whose violence was unleashed principally on the despised elements of the former Salvadoran National Guard, Treasury Police, National Police, and BIRI's.

Got that!
Anonymous said…
My posting is not in any way meant as a blame-game, but like many third world countries El Salvador is on the verge of economic collapse and urgent measures are in order. It's irrefutable that ARENA could have done much more during the last twenty years of their political domination. But it's also true that El Salvador has been much better off than it's neighbors, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. What basically stifles opportunity in El Salvador is the violence and lawlessness that runs rampant throughout the country.

It's clear that combating crime together with protecting the environment, constitute the essential core projects necessary for a better and brighter future for the country. Once these basic issues are normalized and under control, confidence will be able to return to the country, and everything else in its order of selection will fall into place. These are simply first steps that Funes should put high on his list of things to do.

Another point of contention is the fact that El Salvador's main source of hard currency and it's most profitable export has shamefully become its own people who come to the U.S. to work and send "remesas" back home to their families. One very negative outcome of these remesas has been the phenomenon that now most Salvadorans who rely on this easy money no longer feel the need to work, but rather they simply sit back and await the monthly remesa.

Up to now, Salvadoran governments have been missing out on this windfall from "El Norte" and a suggestion to Funes would be that he emulate Cuba and change a ten percent levy on each and every dollar that enters the country in the form of a remesa. If we consider that the Castro brothers in Cuba can levy this tax on the remesas from Miami without condemnation, it's only logical that our own local leftists join-in on the windfall too. I'm sure that the Funes government could find a better use for this money than those who simply sit-around waiting for their remesa so they can run out and buy a "radiola" or some other soon to be junk.

We all know that the FMLN can do things in the country that ARENA would dare not do.
Anonymous said…
Responding to the posting that in part reads, "Dick Cheney's violent background than Salvador Sanchez Ceren? Sanchez Ceren's penny ante stuff pales in comparison to Cheney"

Listen carefully now, Dick Cheney is a career and self-serving politician who has dedicated his life and become wealthy by serving the financial and industrial complexes' worldwide interests. It's common knowledge that Cheney was "on loan" to the Bush administration to serve as puppet master and as his handler to oversee and protect the economic interests of the financial and industrial complexes such the well documented Haliburton interests in Iraq, Etc. Although Cheney is a SOB in any ones book (excluding perhaps his mother), the only shooting he has ever been credited with is that of a bird hunting buddy whom Cheney shot accidentally with a couple 7.5 inch bird shot pellets. Cheney clearly has nasty violent streak, and he openly supports torture and human rights abuses, that's why we got rid of that entire Bush/Cheney cabal. The consequences of the Bush/Cheney warmongering policies have indeed led to needless deaths and suffering which we continue to endure today. In my opinion, Cheney is the personification of evil, and he reminds me of a huge snake laying in the underbrush digesting it's meal.

As for Salvador Sanchez Ceren, he went from a backwater sixth grade school teacher to becoming "Comandante" of one of the five principle insurgent groups in the 1979-1992 Salvadoran conflict, where he acquired the notorious nickname "Machete" need more be said.

In my view, violence is violence, but in this specific case we are attempting to compare direct violence with indirect and consequential violence, and in which case Cheney comes out smelling like a rose.
Anonymous said…
Mauricio Funes was definitely a great choice and a great candidate. And now as President Elect my best hopes and expectations of him are being met. Funes is very intelligently surrounding himself with a superb class-act team of professionals that should have all Salvadorans smiling. We must remain aware thought that the "zopilotes" continue circling overhead.
Anonymous said…
Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con el comentario anterior. Mauricio Funes tiene el potencial para llegar a ser de los mejores presidentes en muchisimo tiempo. Todo depende de Mauricio y del groupo de trabajo que el sepa organizar. Creo que todo el pueblo sigue con la esperanza puesta en Mauricio y con sus dedos cruzados.
Anonymous said…
I'm filled with hope by the high quality cabinet Funes is putting together. Go Mauricio!
Anonymous said…
Vargas Llosa comenta que Venezuela se acerca a una dictadura comunista.
Ah Hah.. Ya lo va hechar del pais el chafarrote, Hugo Chavez.
Anonymous said…
Why are we bringing Oscar Arnulfo Romero into this? Religion does not belong in political affairs.
Anonymous said…
To bad you didn't tell Romero that!
Anonymous said…
Oh really! So according to you, "Sanchez Ceren held a leadership positon in a politically representative force (FMLN) whose violence was unleashed principally on the despised elements of the former Salvadoran National Guard, Treasury Police, National Police, and BIRI's."

Boy oh boy, you make it sound like this guy, Sanchez Ceren, alias "Machete" was just organizing the "Daughters of Mary".

Reality is that Sanchez Cernen, from a backwater sixth grade school teacher, took over as "comander" of one of the most violent of the five principle terrorist organizations that comprised the FMLN. These thugs excelled in and were best known for systematic extorsion, bank robberies, kidnappings, murder and terrorizing the population in general.
Anonymous said…
The above post should read a history book: Let's start with James Dunkerly's Power in the Isthmus; if the above reader finds that too tough, how about Walter Lafebre's Inevitable Revolutions;

Sanchez Ceren's Popular Forces of Liberation specialized in providing self-defense to landless laborers, and seasonal harvesters from the human rights violating depradatons of the now disbanded, disreputable, National Guard and Treasury Police, among other "cuerpos de inseguridad Salvadorena."

And, when will the full accounting come for the fate of the 6000 Salvadorans disappeared during the 1970s and 1980s by the Salvadoran military and their paramilitary thugs? The above poster apparently doesn't give a damn about them. What hypocrisy?

Bank robberies? How about El Salvador's "Protection Racket State" fixing the banking and financial system to avoid taxation adequate enough to meet social needs! That's rich people's bank robbery, kind of like what we've been seeing in the good ol' USA with CITIGROUP, BAM, and Wells Fargo.

OK, I know, the above poster is fixated on a historical interpretation similar to 1930's apologists for the Salvadoran military's 1932 mass marder (8-30,000 dead): Jorge Schlesinger's, "Revolucion comunista: Guatemala en Peligro."
I suggest the above poster do a little reading in the works of U.S. historians, Jeffrey Paige, Hector Lindo-Fuentes, Charles Brockett, Paul Almeida, or Jeffrey Gould, to understand the more recent history and life conditions of most of the Salvadoran people--and that prompted their uprising--and not just fixate on the lives of the rich, the wealthy, and the powerful.

Of course, the rich are the ones who pay the salaries for ideological mercenaries like the above poster--as well as salaries of the death squad killer--(intellectual equivalents).

Ha sido un placer!
Anonymous said…
To the above posts:

How very banal and stupid! The above (all of them) haven't realized that most Salvadorans don't know anything about civil wars or conflicts of the past. Not even President Funes was a combatant in that useless war. All the talk of past envies and hatred is as boring as listening to some Italian jabbering on about the Punic Wars, or an old timer recollecting Iturbide invading Guatemala and Salvador.

Funes, in his inaugural speech didn't once mention anything about that stupid and long past civil war, nor did he make any reference or mention of the FMLN as an insurgent organization. Entiendalo, que toda esa historia es mas vieja y hedionda que el tufo. Stop wallowing in long gone past "historietas."

Democracy is here and now, it's alive and well in El Salvador, and Funes has organized a 2009 style government, un gabinete "de lujo."
Anonymous said…
Lo mas gracioso de todo esto es que Joaquin Villalobos del ERP se huevio toda la plata que los demas majes habian acomulado de asaltos, secuestros, asesinatos y demas fechorias. Villalobos resulto el mas vivo de todos, pues se fue con su dama y el pisto de la guerrilla para Europa donde vive bien de a verga publicando y pasandola bien. A pendejos! Risa me dan.

Proculo Zepeda
Anonymous said…
Loony Leftists, why are you here embedded like like leaches. Cuba is just a float-tube away. Who's holding you back, ...and don't writ, OK. Ciao. hehehehe
Anonymous said…
Comon man!!! These doopy pinkos just got here and escaped from Cuba, and you wanna sendem back. That crasy man. They just stupid leevem alone.
Anonymous said…
"Sanchez Ceren's Popular Forces of Liberation specialized in providing self-defense to landless laborers"

Oh really now! What a sick and cynical joke. Tell it to Melida Anaya Montes "Ana Maria" or the the hundreds of poor families who's sons and daughters were murdered by the infamous FPL. You are on sick individual.

And probably worse of all, now Salvador has a VP who's a renown murderer, kidnapper, extorsionist, bank robber, cattle rustler and who know what other terrible crimes he's committed in the name of some failed doctrine.

El Salvador continues it's history of suffering and helplessness.
Anonymous said…
Any facts to support your contention of Sanchez Ceren's involvement in the death of Melida Anaya Montes, or just time-befuddled ramblings drenched in the half-truths and outright lies of U.S. State Department White Papers and U.S. "Intelligence Community" reports that historians of El Salvador regard as specious?

Oh, and ready to go to bat to track down the FAES torturers, murderers of Salvadoran activist (CDHES)Marianella Garcia Villas, who was killed the same year as Melida Anaya Montes? Probably not, since protecting human rights for you seems to be only protecting the "freedoms" of the rich to exploit and violate the human rights of the poor.
Anonymous said…
Typical of his inherent murdurous hypocracy, El Salvador's Vice President, FMLN Comandante Salvador Sanchez Ceren (Leonel Gonzalez), was witnessed at the September 15, 2001 terrorist rally celebrating the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks on the United States and issuing statements in approval of the vandalism and burning of the American flag.

All this after he, Sanchez Ceren, visited the US Embassy to sign the condolence book and shed his reptilian tears.

Funes beware!

Jesus Rojas
Anonymous said…
No hay peor ciego que el quien no quiere ver.

Goce su ignorancia porque a mi en lo particular me vale un colmino. No entiended que no estas domando a nadie, unicamente a usted mismo. Y ni cuenta se da que usted no le importa a nadie, eres de nacimiento un don nadie.
Anonymous said…
Que feo esta eso.
Anonymous said…
Mr. Pres Funes, don't forget Mario Vela, a journalist mistreated by CNN.


Salvadoran journalist Mario Vela passes away 12 days after being dismissed by CNN. The organization AGACAMT denounces the hostile attitude of CNN towards ill employees. Jose Ramon Cotti, Puerto Rican journalist dismissed by CNN, remains in a hospital after months of pain.

Atlanta (23 March 2009). – Salvadoran journalist Mario Vela passed away 12 days after CNN dismissed him. The company fired this worker despite the knowledge of the seriousness of his illness. Mr. Vela had been several months agonizing in Washington after his doctors declared there was no hope to save his life.

Mario Vela and his family underwent the pressure imposed by CNN in his last days when receiving a document in which their rights of denunciation were questioned and conditioned to the signing of a humiliating severance package.

CNN served notice to Mr. Vela via mail explaining that he no longer was to have his disability benefits and the medical insurance from the company.

Eva Ventín, president of AGACAMT, the Galician Association Against Moral Harassment at the Workplace, denounces the hypocritical attitude of CNN, that, after putting Mr. Vela in the street, sent the Vice-president of CNN Spanish, Cristopher Crommett, to this employee’s funeral to sing a song and to deliver a pitiful donation.

Relatives and friends of Mario Vela were themselves forced to organize a fundraising concert to collect money to pay for his medical treatment.

It is difficult to think that a powerful and multi-millionaire company like CNN, that in spite of the world’s economy crisis have announced economic gains, gets to mistreat its professionals and families”.

Mario Vela who passed away at age 34, was named by the mayor of Washington DC “the journalist of the year of 2007” recognition who was emphasized by his support to the Hispanic community and towards the under-privileged.

With more than 10 years of experience Mario Vela was news director of Mega Communications and Radio Capital 730 in DC. Vela worked for Channel 30 of Univisión and Radio World in Maryland.

AGACAMT wants to bring to the world’s attention other serious cases of labor harassment at CNN as in 2003 the local press of Atlanta related this network with the depression of a journalist who committed suicide. (see original editorial of the Mundo Hispanico about former news director Abel Dimant).

The complaints of labor abuses and irregularities had been communicated to Mr. Jim Walton, the President of CNN, but there are no answers neither solutions that protect the victims.

AGACAMT denounces that “this it is not the unique case of a journalist dismissed by CNN in a serious condition”. News anchor Jose Ramon Cotti remains in a hospital in Georgia after several months of pain.

The Puerto Rican journalist also was dismissed by CNN while on disability awaiting a delicate heart operation.

CNN brought Mr. Cotti and his wife to Atlanta from New York 9 years ago and the company has now totally forgotten this family, not even making a phone call to inquire about its employee’s condition after double bypass surgery and leg amputation and also after Mrs. Cotti’s hospitalization with health problems including stress related condition.

We communicated Mr. Walton of the above again with no responses.
This prestigious New York radio journalist, recipient of Several prizes including two awards from ACE. (Award of creative excellence) is just another one of the numerous victims of the dramatic crisis that shakes CNN.
Anonymous said…
OMG!!! Next you'll be blaming CNN for your chronic hemorrhoids.

It's time to grow-up and start taking a little responsibility for your own stupidity instead of always blaming others.

Besides, I like CNN from the start and Tim Turner is a real visionary.

Orville H. Gilliman
Anonymous said…
Now that's one great idea: To tax all monies being sent be Salvadorans in the U.S.A. back to their families.

Why should these people be getting a free ride. I like the Cuban idea of placing a 10% tax on all family remitances.

If the FMLN wants to spend money, this is the windfall they have at hand to pay for it all.

Besides, a tax like this only the FMLN could get away with it. Let's follow the Cuban example.

Billy Martin
San Jose CR